03/16/19 6:00am

As someone who writes about not only New York wine but also wine grown up and down the Eastern Seaboard — and even the Midwest — I’ve been thinking a lot about diversity lately.

Diversity takes many forms in the wine world. You have the grapes themselves, of course, and not just different varieties like merlot or chardonnay. There are different clones within each variety as well. Maybe we’ll talk clones in detail in an upcoming column, but you can think of a clone as a version of a grape variety that has specific characteristics. (more…)

02/12/19 6:05am

The outdoor space at Jamesport Vineyards in summer. (Northforker file photo)

When Jamesport Vineyards winemaker Dean Babiar arrived in 2014 as harvest was winding down — everything was picked except for riesling for late harvest dessert wine — it was, of course, news. Any winemaker change is news in a relatively small region like Long Island. Looking back, it probably should have been bigger news.  (more…)

12/19/18 5:55am

Macari Vineyards 2017 “Katherine’s Field” Sauvignon Blanc. (Credit: Lenn Thompson)

Every spring, local wine fans clamor for new releases from the previous fall’s harvest. Steel chardonnays, roses, rieslings and sauvignon blancs dominate the first wines released. They are fresh, often delicious and it’s just plain fun to drink new wines.  (more…)

12/12/18 6:00am

Bedell Cellars 2016 Cabernet Franc. (Credit: Cyndi Zaweski)

Though it may not ripen as consistently as merlot, I still find Long Island’s cabernet franc-based wines to be some of the most compelling. It’s especially true when the winemaker steps back and lets the fruit speak for itself rather than covering it up with excessive new oak barrels.

There is a place for smoky, vanilla-tinged red wine, of course, but Long Island’s best cabernet franc typically features far less of an oak footprint, if it has one at all. (more…)